Special Issue "Intellectual Property Law in the New Technological Age: Rising to the Challenge of Change?"

A special issue of Laws (ISSN 2075-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Carys J. Craig

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Ignat Kaneff Bdg, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto M3J 1P3, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: intellectual property; copyright law; cultural policy; digital technology; law and the creative arts; free expression; trademark and unfair competition law; patents; cyberlaw and cyberfeminism; gender and equality; international law; legal theory

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Each day we seem to encounter a new technological development that changes, in subtle but significant ways, how we consume information, conduct business, manage our personal health, or simply communicate with one another. Inevitably, with such developments, intellectual property (IP) and related areas of the law are implicated. This Special Issue provides an opportunity to explore the challenge to IP systems and structures presented by the rapidly evolving realities of the ‘New Technological Age’. In addition to tackling specific questions that are currently confronting (and confounding) courts and policy-makers domestically and internationally, this Special Issue will explore larger normative questions about how law ought to respond to paradigm shifting technologies. For example, is it possible or even desirable to enact ‘technologically neutral’ laws, or to apply old laws in ‘tech-neutral’ ways? What kinds of regulatory approaches might improve the capacity of our IP laws to adapt to the specific demands of new technological innovations?

This Special Issue seeks articles that focus on any doctrinal, policy, regulatory or theoretical aspect of Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age. Authors are invited to reflect upon the evolving relationship between IP law and new technologies in light of established and emerging stakeholder interests—and the public interest in general. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: the changing role of IP in our culture/society/marketplace; the pursuit of ‘technological neutrality’ in IP law; sites of tension between copyright norms and new digital services; patentability and gene or bio-technologies; trademarks, territoriality and the online marketplace; end-user and intermediary liabilities and remedies; emerging IP management and enforcement strategies; the expansion/contraction of user rights and defences in respect of new technological tools.

Prof. Carys J. Craig
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Laws is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Intellectual Property
  • Information Policy
  • Technological Neutrality
  • Digital Technology
  • Genetic Technology
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Territoriality
  • Enforcement
  • User rights

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Copyright User Rights and Remedies: An Access to Justice Perspective
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
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Abstract
In contemporary copyright law, there is an ongoing debate around the nature and scope of the rights users should have to copyright works, exacerbated by ongoing technological developments. Within that debate, this article queries the value of looking at the remedies users may
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In contemporary copyright law, there is an ongoing debate around the nature and scope of the rights users should have to copyright works, exacerbated by ongoing technological developments. Within that debate, this article queries the value of looking at the remedies users may have against copyright holders restricting their legitimate uses of works, as a means to further elucidate the nature and scope of user rights. While there is some value in looking at remedies to situate copyright user rights, an access to justice perspective to rights and remedies suggests that such approach may be too limiting with respect to the position of potential claimants in a legal system. On that basis, this paper identifies structural deficiencies of copyright user rights and proposes an analytical framework towards achieving greater “justice for users” both in the realm of public law and private law. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Right Not to Be Mapped? Augmented Reality, Real Property, and Zoning
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 16 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 4 June 2018
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Abstract
The digital mapping applications underlying augmented reality have strong public benefits but can also have unappreciated effects on real property. In recent litigation on Pokémon Go, an enhanced digital mapping application in which players participate in a digital scavenger hunt by visiting real
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The digital mapping applications underlying augmented reality have strong public benefits but can also have unappreciated effects on real property. In recent litigation on Pokémon Go, an enhanced digital mapping application in which players participate in a digital scavenger hunt by visiting real world locations, homeowners alleged that the augmented reality application harmed their residential properties by increasing the number of people in their residential areas. However, neither the existing laws on intellectual property nor those for real property are designed to address these types of harms. On the one hand, real property torts, such as nuisance and trespass, on which the homeowners relied, are ill-suited to address harms from a digital application as they are based on a right to exclude and consent. On the other hand, intellectual property laws have not focused on harms that could result from the intersection of intellectual property rights and real property. If it were to be framed anew, the basis of the homeowners’ claims would be most analogous to asserting “a right not to be mapped.” However, there is not yet a “right not to be mapped” in law, and there are compelling reasons for the law not to create one. We recommend three alternative mechanisms to regulate the relationship between augmented reality and real property. We recommend the application of zoning principles as a legal mechanism designed for location-sensitive regulation, which can balance the concerns of individual real property owners, as well as the larger context of community and city interests, and be adapted to innovative technologies such as augmented reality. Additionally, we suggest that catalogues of augmented reality applications be created to support zoning decisions and to provide public notice. We also consider the possibility of licensing schemes with micropayments for real properties affected by augmented reality. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Customizing Fair Use Transplants
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
In the past decade, policymakers and commentators across the world have called for the introduction of copyright reform based on the fair use model in the United States. Thus far, Israel, Liberia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Taiwan have
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In the past decade, policymakers and commentators across the world have called for the introduction of copyright reform based on the fair use model in the United States. Thus far, Israel, Liberia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Taiwan have adopted the fair use regime or its close variants. Other jurisdictions such as Australia, Hong Kong and Ireland have also advanced proposals to facilitate such adoption. This article examines the increasing efforts to transplant fair use into the copyright system based on the U.S. model. It begins by briefly recapturing the strengths and weaknesses of legal transplants. The article then scrutinizes the ongoing effort to transplant fair use from the United States. Specifically, it identifies eight modalities of transplantation. This article concludes with five lessons that can be drawn from studying the ongoing transplant efforts. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle IP Things as Boundary Objects: The Case of the Copyright Work
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 31 July 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 16 August 2017
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Abstract
The goal of this article is to initiate the exploration of the meanings and functions of the things of intellectual property: the work of authorship (or copyright work) in copyright, the invention in patent, and the mark and the sign in trademark. The
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The goal of this article is to initiate the exploration of the meanings and functions of the things of intellectual property: the work of authorship (or copyright work) in copyright, the invention in patent, and the mark and the sign in trademark. The article focuses firstly on the example of copyright work. Relevant challenges are both technological and conceptual, because these things blend the material and the immaterial. Works are neither as clearly defined nor as clearly limited as copyright law often suggests they are. To explain and justify that proposition, the article borrows from information science literature exploring boundary objects, which are stable physical and intangible things that align distinct but overlapping communities of practice in flexible ways, via interpretive openness. The article shows that the meanings of the work in copyright law can be unified conceptually in the sense that the work operates as a boundary object across a number of different legal and cultural divides. This view of the work clarifies the distinct status of relevant communities and practices in copyright but also bridges them in copyright’s construction and governance of culture. None of the boundaries represented in these boundary objects is fixed or impermeable. Their very dynamic and sometimes porous character is precisely the governance role illuminated here. Full article
Open AccessArticle Back to the Future: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 8 July 2017 / Published: 12 August 2017
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Abstract
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement, which seeks to regulate copyright law, intermediary liability, and technological protection measures. The United States Government under President Barack Obama sought to export key features of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 (US)
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The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement, which seeks to regulate copyright law, intermediary liability, and technological protection measures. The United States Government under President Barack Obama sought to export key features of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 (US) (DMCA). Drawing upon the work of Joseph Stiglitz, this paper expresses concerns that the TPP would entrench DMCA measures into the laws of a dozen Pacific Rim countries. This study examines four key jurisdictions—the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—participating in the TPP. This paper has three main parts. Part 2 focuses upon the takedown-and-notice scheme, safe harbours, and intermediary liability under the TPP. Elements of the safe harbours regime in the DMCA have been embedded into the international agreement. Part 3 examines technological protection measures—especially in light of a constitutional challenge to the DMCA. Part 4 looks briefly at electronic rights management. This paper concludes that the model of the DMCA is unsuitable for a template for copyright protection in the Pacific Rim in international trade agreements. It contends that our future copyright laws need to be responsive to new technological developments in the digital age—such as Big Data, cloud computing, search engines, and social media. There is also a need to resolve the complex interactions between intellectual property, electronic commerce, and investor-state dispute settlement in trade agreements. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Online Shaming and the Right to Privacy
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper advances privacy theory through examination of online shaming, focusing in particular on persecution by internet mobs. While shaming is nothing new, the technology used for modern shaming is new and evolving, making it a revealing lens through which to analyze points
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This paper advances privacy theory through examination of online shaming, focusing in particular on persecution by internet mobs. While shaming is nothing new, the technology used for modern shaming is new and evolving, making it a revealing lens through which to analyze points of analytical friction within and between traditional conceptions of privacy. To that end, this paper first explores the narrative and structure of online shaming, identifying broad categories of shaming of vigilantism, bullying, bigotry and gossiping, which are then used throughout the paper to evaluate different angles to the privacy problems raised. Second, this paper examines shaming through three dominant debates concerning privacy—privacy’s link with dignity, the right to privacy in public places and the social dimension of privacy. Certain themes emerged from this analysis. A common feature of online shaming is public humiliation. A challenge is to differentiate between a humbling (rightly knocking someone down a peg for a social transgression) and a humiliation that is an affront to dignity (wrongly knocking someone down a peg). In addition, the privacy concern of shamed individuals is not necessarily about intrusion on seclusion or revelation of embarrassing information, but rather about the disruption in their ability to continue to participate in online spaces free from attack. The privacy interest therefore becomes more about enabling participation in social spaces, enabling connections and relationships to form, and about enabling identity-making. Public humiliation through shaming can disrupt all of these inviting closer scrutiny concerning how law can be used as an enabling rather than secluding tool. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Copyright, Culture, and Community in Virtual Worlds
Received: 12 September 2016 / Revised: 17 October 2016 / Accepted: 17 October 2016 / Published: 2 November 2016
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Abstract
Communities that interact on-line through computer games and other virtual worlds are mediated by the audiovisual content of the game interface. Much of this content is subject to copyright law, which confers on the copyright owner the legal right to prevent certain unauthorized
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Communities that interact on-line through computer games and other virtual worlds are mediated by the audiovisual content of the game interface. Much of this content is subject to copyright law, which confers on the copyright owner the legal right to prevent certain unauthorized uses of the content. Such exclusive rights impose a limiting factor on the development of communities that are situated around the interface content, as the rights, privileges, and exceptions associated with copyright generally tend to disregard the cultural significance of copyrighted content. This limiting effect of copyright is well illustrated by examination of the copying of content by virtual diaspora communities such as that formed around the game Uru: Ages of Myst; thus, the opportunity for on-line communities to legally access the graphical elements on which those communities are built is fraught with potential legal liability. This presents the reciprocal situation from efforts to protect the cultural properties of indigenous communities as traditional knowledge. Reconsideration of current copyright law would be required in order to accommodate the cohesion of on-line communities and related cultural uses of copyrighted content. Full article
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